Numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly confirm what construction workers already know – the construction industry remains one of the more dangerous jobs in the United States. Construction is typically first or second amongst jobs with the most fatal injuries. One out of every ten construction workers will be hurt every year.
A recent study by a Texas labor advocacy group found Texas to be the deadliest state for construction workers. It usually leads the nation in all workplace injuries each year, and construction accidents comprise the largest portion of such injuries. In 2009, nearly 500 workers died in Texas, with 133 of those deaths occurring in construction.
The study concluded that poor and dangerous working conditions occurred throughout the construction industry in Texas and that the state failed to ensure even basic safety protections. The group found that many workers labored in unsafe conditions, such as working in temperatures up to 112 degrees. Many worked overtime without rest breaks, and nearly two-thirds of workers reported that they did not receive basic safety training before beginning work. A Lufkin injury lawyer can help you hold employers responsible for dangerous work conditions if such conditions have harmed you or a loved one.
Ways to Prevent Construction Accidents
The most common construction accidents involve falls, electrocutions, heavy machinery accidents, or falling objects. Below are several ways that both employers and employees can prevent such accidents from occurring:
- Regularly check and service equipment
- Make sure stairs have rails
- Anytime scaffolding is in use, use fall prevention systems
- Workers should use helmets and eye and ear protection whenever there is the slightest risk of damage
- Use insulated, rubber gloves when working with wiring and electricity
- Workers and managers at the job site should regularly receive training in accident prevention and safety on the job
- Keep holes and weak spots in floors marked off
- Use covers when any energized cables or power lines are nearby
When accidents do occur, employers and employees should report them promptly. Without prompt and accurate reporting, government agencies and statistics do not adequately account for the dangers that construction workers face. Injury reports can put state and federal agencies on alert as to problems with a particular company. The Texas study mentioned above found that workers and their employers regularly violate workplace regulations, but that they do not do anything about it and government agencies never find out about the violations.